Sully - Make the Landing
| Sully like most of director Clint Eastwood's films, is beautiful shot and masterfully plotted. This is a rumination of real life heroism with a generous dash of American exceptionalism thrown in. Instead of telling the story of landing of a passenger jet successfully in the Hudson River saving the lives of all aboard, the film focuses its attention on the man behind the act. The harrowing adventure is told, and told beautifully, but it is the focus on the man, his refusal to accept hero status, his struggles with his own misgivings, and his persistence in his belief that he did all he could.
The film is at its strongest when it focuses on Hanks' character and Hanks' performance, one that is all in his head. The conflict here is truly in wrestling with what occurred, responding to emergency, and dealing with the fallout. Hanks, who is almost always strong, is no slouch here, bringing a three dimensional character to life despite trying to play him as all American hero (usually mutually exclusive concepts). Hanks finds a way to make it all play.
And credit goes to Eastwood too for the way he stages his tale. Instead of just chronologically telling an honestly gripping tale of survival and danger, he parcels it out so that the true impact can be felt. His telling is moving and you'll want to see it on a big screen to truly feel it.
The film's main weakness is in how it attempts to create a villain. There really isn't one, and in fact that's the point. This could have just been a treatise on how things should go when people pull together, and mostly it is. But the film shoehorns in a farely false ringing narrative, which never gains true traction or believability, of those seeking blame. The climax of the film is a shallow, truncated "court" like scene where our hero is exonerated and it simply feels fake. In a film where the rest felt so honest, this feels out of joint.
Still, Sully is exciting and moving and worth seeing on a big screen.